Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples of Canada: Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs—June 19, 2020

Document navigation for "Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs: June 19, 2020"

On this page

Key messages


Through procurement, real property, language services and services to other government departments across the country, the department is engaged with Indigenous businesses, communities and governments at the operational level. Moreover, it has established a dedicated unit to coordinate and build upon existing reconciliation activities across the department with a view to developing the organization’s first Reconciliation Strategy to enable the department to engage with Indigenous partners systematically and in a coordinated way to advance outcomes including recognizing self-determination, reducing socio-economic gaps and strengthening the Indigenous-Crown relationship.

The examples below are not exhaustive, but illustrate the breadth of activity within the department. The minister will be engaged on the Reconciliation Strategy as it matures.


Federal procurement is widely recognized as an important lever for increasing socio-economic benefits for Indigenous businesses and peoples. As outlined in more detail in the material in this package on the Indigenous Procurement Strategy, the department is working towards increasing procurement with Indigenous businesses to 5% of its total procurement. Indigenous Services Canada is the lead department for engaging Indigenous partners on implementing the procurement strategy.

The department will also continue to leverage its role and expertise as the common service provider for federal procurement services and will work with Indigenous Services Canada to refine the Indigenous Procurement Strategy to include a broader range of procurements.

Real property

Considering the significant investment and planned activities over the next decade and beyond in the National Capital Region (including the Parliamentary Precinct), the department is exploring work with Employment and Social Development Canada and other government departments (and through memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Algonquin governments) to establish training, employment, and business opportunities with Indigenous partners. These activities will allow for collaborative, long-term planning on Public Services and Procurement Canada’s activities, including disposal of assets and contracting. Further investment in capacity development within Indigenous communities, and the establishment of a mechanism for providing Indigenous businesses with information on future Government of Canada projects could help to advance these partnerships.

The department also has a role to play in establishing and updating practices to ensure a consistent government-wide approach to the valuation and transfer of federal lands to Indigenous groups through different processes such as disposal; treaty negotiations; recognition of Indigenous rights and self-determination tables; self-government and comprehensive claim negotiations; and accommodation as a result of the duty to consult.

Indigenous peoples space at 100 Wellington Street

The department is playing a supporting role in the redevelopment of the former United States Embassy as a space for Indigenous peoples directly across from Parliament Hill. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada leads the engagement with the National Indigenous Organizations and the Algonquins of Ontario and the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation of Quebec.

Language services

In January 2019, for the first time in the history of Parliament, the Translation Bureau (the bureau) began offering Indigenous language interpretation services to the House of Commons, including in Oneida sign language. This marks the first time Indigenous languages were translated and included in Hansard.

The bureau is continuing to provide translation services in Indigenous languages and is planning on developing standing offers to expand Indigenous language services to the whole of government and offer government services and products in Indigenous languages. The bureau is supporting Heritage Canada on the implementation of the Indigenous Languages Act, including through seeking innovative means to increase its capacity to provide interpretation and translation in Indigenous languages.

Recruitment, training and culture

PSPC is working to develop an Indigenous training and learning strategy for its workforce as well as to create an Indigenous space for the benefit of employees. Given the importance of ensuring employees and senior leaders have sufficient cultural literacy to engage appropriately and constructively with Indigenous partners and stakeholders, opportunities for training are being explored and encouraged in cooperation with the Canada School of Public Service.

Regional perspectives

Across the country, the department’s regional operations engage closely with communities on projects ranging from property disposals for Cape Breton operations in the Atlantic region, to the development of strong relationships with First Nations communities adjacent to the Esquimalt Graving Dock in British Columbia, to local engagement and capacity-building in the context of the Giant Mine Remediation project in the Northwest Territories. Many of the most direct impacts of the department’s activities are seen in the work of the regional offices, making them critical to advancing on reconciliation from a departmental perspective.

Current status

In 2019, PSPC operationalized a reconciliation and Indigenous Engagement Unit, and tasked it with coordinating reconciliation and Indigenous engagement efforts across the department. Current efforts include:

Document navigation for "Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs: June 19, 2020"

Date modified: